Tree of Thanks

I hope you Mamas and your families had a “Happy Thanksgiving!” I love the time to sit around the table with friends and family and eat yummy food!

Wednesday night My son was sick with a 102° temperature and a yucky cough. To say the least, I was a bit anxious about what Thursday would hold for us. I had scheduled myself to teach online from 4:30-7:00 am. Thoughts of “Would my 5 month old daughter get sick? Would my son be up during the night? Would I get any sleep? Would we have to cancel our plans?” ran through my head simultaneously as I rested on my pillow.

Thankfully his temp broke in the middle of the night, and he slept well from midnight to 7 am. Lil never got sick, praise God! When I woke up Thursday morning, I found time to teach, run, shower, wash my hair (Mama win), clean…all with the help of my best Babes!

We have the pleasure of living near both my parents and my husband’s parents. (Can we say, “free babysitters?”) Thanksgiving is one of the many holidays we share, and this year we had it going on! This Mama did not have to cook, minus a side kale salad. I’m so thankful for my mom and mother-in-law who prepared the food for everyone!

Pre-kids, one thing I looked forward most after the Thanksgiving meal, was a nice long nap on the couch. This year, I and the kiddos both napped in the car in between celebrations. This is my typical fall-asleep-anywhere-anytime posture.



As life gets fuller, I’m finding it’s so easy to get caught up in the going here and there and preparing for the holidays, that we forget to pause and take a moment to give thanks.

Every year since as far back as I can remember, we would each take turns and share our favorite thanksgiving food and one thing we were thankful for. This year, I decided to add a little something festive to our ritual.

I recently found this awesome resource: Tree of Thanks. Aiden helped me gather sticks and rocks to make our centerpiece. I traced and cut out some leaves with construction paper, and voila! An easy thanksgiving masterpiece was created. On the day of, I asked people to write what they were thankful for on a leaf and decorate the tree with it.


How was your holiday, Mama? What are you thankful for? What food did you enjoy most?

I know it may sound cliche, but I am truly thankful for my family. And hands down, my Grandma Julie’s orange rolls are what I look forward to every year!

A Bag Of Tricks

As we get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, I would have to say one of my top ten things I am thankful for is…my mama community.

I have friends I can text, FaceTime, or call any time day or night asking for prayers and helpful hints of how to handle certain situations with my kiddos.

Let’s use tonight as a lovely example.

My youngest, Lillian, is five months old. Usually around bed time she gets a little fussy and fights the night night time. Tonight she was experiencing some hard core teething and decided to scream. And scream. And scream some more.

I tried breastfeeding, pacifiers, teething toys, cold washcloths, and offering her my finger to chew on.

More screaming.

This Mama here is on her own for a few days while Daddy is on a trip for work. So there’s no game of tag to play with the other parent. In desperation, I reached out to two of my friends.

Every Mama needs a good bag of tricks, and sometimes it’s helpful to hear ideas from another friend who is in the thick of it with you.

Tip #1: Take a bath skin to skin with the baby. Seems weird, but it helps them remember the time in the womb.

Tip  #2: Turn on the microwave fan.

The bath was super helpful in calming Lil down, and myself as well. Sometimes I get so focused on needing to get Lil to stop crying that I’m letting off  anxious emotions. After a bit, she began to fuss again.

The microwave fan was the winning ticket tonight. The distraction allowed her focus to shift from being upset to the noise. Lilster then proceeded to show off her cute smile and pretend the previous twenty minutes never happened.

Do babies ever make sense? Haha.

So let’s hear it from you, Mama. What’s in your bag of tricks when the baby is crying and your go to soothing strategies aren’t cutting it?

“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.” -Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a

Fall Traditions

One thing I truly enjoy is creating traditions for my children. It brings me great delight to know that one day my kids will pass on some of our family’s memories and create new ones of their own. Good old Webster defines tradition as, “an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior.”

Here are some fun fall traditions we’ve done most years since my first child, Aiden, was born:

1. Pumpkin patch! I love going to pumpkin patches and taking photos of the kiddos! It’s such a great way to look back and see how much our little pumpkins grow. 

2. Fall festival! In the years past we’ve gone to fall festivals put on by local churches. They have a hay rides, games, and are usually free! Bonus!

3. Trunk or treat! This was our first year dressing up and collecting candy. I personally loved this environment because family friendly costumes were highly encouraged, and I knew the people there. My son dressed up as a firefighter, which he does almost every day of the year, haha. He was a bit confused of why he gathered candy and what to do with it. We allowed him to choose one piece of candy and trade the rest in for some fair trade, high quality chocolate.  

4. Painting pumpkins! We got together with a friend of ours and this event quickly developed into more body painting than pumpkin painting. But at least the kiddos had fun in the process!

What are some fall traditions for your family?